Suffering in silence: Modern teenage mentality

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artwork of 4 girls crying tears made of christmas lights

When you're a child, you used to cry over things such as tripping and falling. Some cry from the searing pain in their leg or even at the mere sight of blood. But someone was always there; to bandage your wounds and wipe your tears away. Easily empathizing, they could see the physical pain your delicate body was being put in. But as children get older, the societal pressures of life tend to mess with their psyche. Unfortunately, these teenagers feelings are being overlooked and glossed over with the excuse "You're just a teenager, what could you possibly be upset about?". 

Teenagers are in an awkward phase of self discovery. Not knowing whether to act like a child or adult, it can be difficult to understand who they truly are. Especially since today's society has created an unattainable cookie cutter life for each teen as they grow into adults. They are geared towards the path that society says is okay. Any other path or option is disregarded as "foolish" to the rest of humanity. Children who are still developing their identity are pressured to know exactly what they want for their future without even knowing who they truly are. 

With technology at it's peak, it is easy to be surrounded by unrealistic trends of the media. It's easy to think you're not enough because "I don't have this" or "I have too much of this", "this is too big" "this is too small". There are millions of bad thoughts that could go through someone's head. Poisonous and toxic thoughts that could pollute the brain until it rots. Unrealistic standards teens are told to live up to in order to be seen as appealing to their peers. 

As individuals, we are called to be there for each other. Our parents, siblings, our friends, anyone who's in need. The inner workings of our mind are such a delicate and intricate complicated mess. How foolish to think one can control their feelings or innermost thoughts; that they can easily block negative thoughts 24/7 without any help. When someone is willing to reach out to you about monsters in their head, it should never be glossed over or seen as bait for attention. A person's mental health is just as important as their physical health. In most cases, it's easy to see when someone is physically damaged. In most cases, it's not easy to see someone struggling with their own mind. We are made to co-exist in this one big world. We are meant to help each other up not make matters worse when we've fallen.  So the next time you ask how someone is, look for the pain in their eyes; look for the struggle they keep so silent. And when they tell you how they are, listen, really listen. 

"Pain is real but so is hope".
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